Indiana University School of Medicine at Bloomington has been awarded a $2.7 million grant that will benefit the Behavioral Health Access Program in Indiana for Youth. IU says the funding will help children and families with mental health issues.
The university says the Be Happy program will receive five years of operational support thanks to a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will help increase the availability and accessibility of child mental health care teams through telehealth counseling and referral services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an enormous stressor on our lives, particularly the lives of children and adolescents, resulting in new and worsening mental health concerns,” said Dr. Rachel Yoder, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at IU. Medical School and Co-Director of Indiana Be Happy. Many families have difficulty obtaining mental health care and usually seek help first from pediatricians. By providing immediate counseling, child mental health providers in our program can help pediatricians recognize and treat mental health issues early and improve access to evidence-based treatment.”
IU says that the program will focus on rural and disadvantaged areas and will increase service providers’ access to resources as well as increase the ability of young people and families to use resources.
“We are honored to be able to continue and expand Be Happy’s services,” said Zachary Adams, co-director of Be Happy, associate professor of psychiatry at IU School of Medicine. “We are particularly excited about opportunities to reduce inequality in access to behavioral health care services, and we will continue to identify opportunities to maintain these services over the long term to meet the mental health needs of Indiana youth and families, and the health care professionals they serve.”
IU says the program has also received a one-year, $100,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. Be Happy is open to all health care professionals in Indiana who work with youth and family.